12-30-2022 09:13 PM - last edited on 01-10-2023 03:59 PM by Iona_RO
I feel absolutely desolate. My husband and I have been together 15 years. In that time we have had 3 children - they are now 13, 8 and 1. I have done 90% of the parenting, housekeeping and family management in this time. I have also done it mostly alone because my husband has mental health issues after a traumatic childhood of repeated and prolonged sexual assaults. I also come from trauma as my childhood was deprived and physically/mentally/sexually abusive. Our kids are doing really quite well against the odds! They are happy and thriving and healthy. However, the toll it has taken on me to do this has been enormous. I am obese, I have heart disease, I have anxiety and depression, I have suicidal ideation. I do see a counsellor and have for several years now and it has helped. But because we have no family and no friends (this has been something I need to work on as I tend to shun even the idea of making friends) and no connections at all except for my counsellor. My husband works abroad about half the year so Im completely alone most of the time. I have nothing left in the tank. Somehow I manage to drag myself through every single day but its an empty feeling and its not a fulfilling life at all. I adore my children and Im so glad they are here but motherhood has been disappointing and has mostly made me miserable. I wish I was one of those mums who felt fulfilled by it.
I want to study, or do something but I just cant handle it mentally. My 18 month old daughter hardly sleeps. She goes to bed at 11pm and wakes up at around 8am and has short naps during the day. Im also pretty sure she may have some autistic traits as she has shown some concerning behaviours like hand flapping and walking on her tiptoes exclusively. They are holding off on assessing her just yet as they want her to be a bit older.
I dont know what I hope to achieve by writing this tbh. I suppose I just want to get it out there. Everyone I do know (acquaintances from school mostly) says how I have it altogether. PPft if only they knew. I am a mess.
12-31-2022 01:13 PM
Thank you for sharing your story. Reading over your post, I can hear that you and your husband have been through an awful lot in your lifetime. It must have been difficult to bear the brunt of the parenting as you also have your own vulnerabilities to manage. After doing a lot of it alone and having limited support, it makes sense that you are feeling quite unfulfilled and miserable. It sounds like you put a lot aside to be a parent and that this has limited some of your own aspirations, like wanting to study.
There is a lot of pressure on how parents should feel. It is okay to acknowledge that parenting has been quite disappointing and difficult for you. As you also mentioned, you love your children and are happy that they are healthy and doing well. This is a huge testament to your parenting, although I acknowledge that it has come at a cost to you. However, both of these perspectives about parenting can be true at the same time. I know that a lot of parents feel guilt and shame for admitting just how hard parenting can be.
It is also great to hear that you have some support to help you get through those tough moments. It seems like you have a lot going on, so I am wondering what do you think would make the biggest difference to your situation? I am not sure if this would be of interest to you but we have a free one on one coaching program which you might be eligible for. You also mentioned having acquaintances at school. Would it be helpful or beneficial to lean on them for support or to have a social chat?
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